When were you “bitten” by the entrepreneurial bug?
I was “bitten” in high school on the east coast, one of my high school friends, that I was close to, had a product that he and his family turned into a successful business. I had the opportunity to see and help out a little bit with their product called NXTZ, which was a snowboarding mask designed to help keep your face warm while snowboarding. I thought it was the coolest thing at age 15 because they were able to get some of the pro snowboarders wearing them like Scotty Lago. I always thought it would be cool to have a product to sell that’s related to something you enjoy doing and thats when I was “ bitten” to want to make a product of my own. I was a big snowboarder in high school and when I moved back to Santa Barbara to go to college, I started to surf because it was a good substitute for snowboarding. I then fell in love with surfing and thats all I wanted to do, I even ended up failing my first semester of college and had to make up for it because of surfing. Though, the problem with surfing Santa Barbara beaches is you always get covered in beach tar. After seeing a mom pour some gasoline on the beach to clean the tar off her child, I thought there had to be a better solution to pouring gasoline on the beach to clean beach tar off your skin. After doing research, there wasn't really anything that was eco friendly for removing beach tar. I then took the opportunity to create a product related to surfing and made an eco friendly and non toxic tar remover and called it Oil Slick Beach Tar Remover.
What’s been the hardest part about starting your own business as a millennial entrepreneur?
The hardest part about starting a business at age 21 is trying to start a business while working a part time job and going to college because going to school and working a part time job is already a lot of work to begin with. It’s really difficult and still is, but I've learned to really budget my time wisely and learn how to get things done faster, and be more efficient.
What resources have you found helpful in blazing your own trail?
The people in my life have been my greatest resources for starting my own business. My parents are very business minded and have helped me with getting started with a place to manufacture and also help me with the accounting sometimes. My friends have been really important as well, some of my closest friends are entrepreneurs themselves and they all own very successful business as well too and we always help each other out. I also had some college professors that really encouraged me to start Oil Slick and their help was really important to the success of my business.
Who’s your entrepreneurial hero?
I have a few entrepreneurial heros that I look up to. Its definitely to some of my close friends who went out and took the risk to start their business such as Nathan Seashore and his wife Ali who are the founders of the clothing brand ADKTD Lifestyle and my other friend Billy Hanke who moved to Seattle WA to start his own marketing design firm called the EN.Tyce Advantage. They have always been great friends to look up too, as far as famous entrepreneurs, I have always looked up to Nick Woodman who's the founder of Go Pro Camera’s and professional skateboarder Tony Hawk. I love the lifestyles they have and hope to someday live like they do.
What advice do you have for today’s aspiring entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is hard work and at times can be very stressful and scary. Although the opportunities for growth, building connections, and learning are far greater than working a 9 to 5 job in my opinion. My advice to others is stay optimistic and surround yourself with optimistic people and people who have entrepreneurial minds. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because you will need it no matter what. Live as cheaply as you can until you make it, you need to work hard for what you want, and most importantly is love what you do everyday. Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone and you seriously need to love the lifestyle of it in order to be successful with it. I love entrepreneurship because of the adrenaline that comes with it and also that I can be my own boss.
How can our readers connect with you?
Through my website oilslickonline.com is the best way to reach me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org I'm also on Linked In as well too. Feel free to send me an email about anything and I will respond or connect with me on Linked In.
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